In recent years, the McClymont sisters have navigated changes and upheavals of all kinds: changes of address, changes in relationship status, entry into the thrilling world of new parenthood. But it’s the constancy, the endless love and support of those nearest and dearest to them that Brooke, Sam & Mollie celebrate with full hearts on their captivating fifth studio album Endless, set for release on Friday 13th January 2017.
Endless finds The McClymonts bringing the focus right back down to earth: to their respective houses and the people who make them homes.
“Family comes first,” The McClymonts say, simply, of their towering inspiration for Endless. “We’re all married – this is the first album we’ve made when we are all married!” It’s a fact that makes for the warmest, most intensely personal McClymonts release to date.
The McClymonts have never shied away from telling, in song, the stories that make them who they are: from rediscovering the simple joy of self-belief in early favourite ‘My Life Again’, to the exquisite ‘A Woman Is A Flame’, to fresh-start anthem ‘Two Worlds Collide’. It’s this authenticity – this heartfelt genuineness – that has so endeared the McClymonts to the hearts of listeners the world over since the trio first burst onto the scene in 2006.
“That’s the thing with country music: you have to tell your own stories,” Sam explains. “People can see through it if it’s not genuine. So, we try to write about what we’re going through. That’s why the lyric content on Endless is so different to when we were 20 when we were starting out! And now, it’s so different to then, with our families and our career and making it all work. We do have a lot more stories to tell on this album: we are all in a good place, and that really comes out in this album.”
Produced by Central Coast based Producer/Songwriter Andy Mak (Tina Arena, Boy & Bear), Endless crowns a phenomenal couple of years for The McClymonts. Since the release of Here’s To You & I, the sisters have celebrated two weddings, with Sam and Mollie walking down the aisle in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and the birth of Mollie’s first baby boy, Ned. Not to mention recent forays into the world of TV and film: Brooke making her acting debut in Aussie feature film Spin Out and Sam taking up hosting duties on Channel 9 phenomenon The Farmer Wants a Wife in 2016. And to top it all, The McClymonts have just completed a well-deserved victory lap with their 10th Anniversary 10 Years of Hits national tour.
Writing for the album commenced in March 2016 with the lead single “House” coming from the first writing session with Brooke and rising Australian songwriters Michael Fatkin (Tina Arena) and Sarah Aarons (Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson). In all, Michael Fatkin contributed to five tracks on ‘Endless’ in various combinations of writing with Brooke, Sam & Mollie. The reflective “Don’t Wish It All Away” evolved during a session with Sydney based writer, Lindsey Jackson (Tori Kelly) and the three girls. In May, Brooke travelled to Nashville and those sessions contributed to album opener “Like We Used To”, co-written with Dan Oestebo & Jordan Mohilowski (both of contemporary rock band The Afters) and the title track “Endless”, written with Nick Brophy (Kenny Chesney & Jason Aldean) and Jennifer Hanson (Billy Currington). Two of the albums eleven tracks were written with Andy Mak and his brother Thom Mak while the album closer, “Bad For Us” was written by Brooke, Sam & Mollie during a session at Brooke’s Lake Macquarie home.
Endless was recorded in part at brand new state-of-the-art recording facility Forbes Street Studio, with the balance of the album being tracked close to home at The Grove Studios on the Central Coast. As the girls explain, Andy’s input has given them the impetus to push their sound into heady, invigorating new territory.
“Andy’s been so amazing,” Sam explains. “I think that, because he does a lot of music with his brother as well, he really gets the family dynamic. He understands sibling harmonies – it’s been really perfect for us. And he sort of pushes us and gives a bit of a fresher sound: I think we’ve definitely got an edgier sound with Endless.”
The sonic adventure will certainly resonate with all those McClymonts fans out there who are at their happiest while jostling shoulder-to-shoulder at the very front of the crowd, singing and dancing along to every note.
“We always love the big, punchy songs, because we want people at the concerts to be able to move and to let their hair down,” Sam explains. “And we also like to have songs that show off our vocals and our three-part harmonies and the softer side as well. And I think we’ve done that on this album, but I think you’ll hear it in a slightly different way.”
True to that, lead single ‘House’ is the perfect introduction to the endlessly contented McClymonts of 2016, with its winning rock edge and trademark intricate vocal harmonies. It’s an irresistible anthem – a chance for Mollie, Sam and Brooke to take stock and to give thanks for the happiness they’ve earned with so many years of hard work.
The album’s similarly ebullient title track ‘Endless’ is a resounding thank you to indefatigable life partners everywhere.
“‘Endless’ is about our husbands,” Brooke explains. “It’s dedicated to them and how you do love them endlessly, and it’s a tribute to them for standing beside us for all these years, as well.”
The McClymonts know as well as anyone that love takes work, and ‘Like We Used To’ reflects on the need – as Brooke puts it – to “get back to that feeling with your partner that you had when you first met – the butterflies and the fun, crazy times you had together.”
There’s a wry take on the obsessive heat of new love in ‘Chain Smoker’: “you know, when you’re in that stage of being completely infatuated with someone and that’s all you think about – and it’s kind of, in a way, an addiction,” Mollie says.
The girls were honoured to have superstar Ronan Keating contribute vocals to “When We Say It’s Forever”. This marks the first time that a duet has been included on a McClymonts album. The song is in some ways a follow-up to the ballad “Forever Begins Tonight” (from ‘Here’s To You & I’) which received high rotation airplay on Smooth FM and has been hugely popular as a ‘first dance’ wedding song.
At the heart of it all, centrepiece ‘Don’t Wish It All Away’ is a reminder that life is never more beautiful than it is right now. “We kind of realised that, it has been our 10-years since we released the first record, and it’s going really fast!” Sam explains. “You know, you’re always chasing the next thing, you’re always looking to the future and looking to the next goal, and sometimes that means not being in the moment. When we wrote that song we were really telling ourselves to enjoy it, live in the moment! Family is the most important thing: making memories with your family and being present.”
Brooke, Mollie and Sam will certainly be ‘present’ throughout 2017-18 as they release ‘Endless’ on Friday 13th January before undertaking a national tour – a journey they will share together, as a family, on the ‘Endless’ road.